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  #1  
Old 2 Oct 2011
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Live, Work, and Ski New Zealand

Hey all,

I am looking at getting a temp. work visa for New Zealand next year. My skill set is sought after in NZ (Industrial Engineer). I'm glad to go there and work...but to be honest my primary reason for doing so is to ski! Therefore, it would be nice to work as an engineer, but I'm there for the skiing - a job bartending or serving is A ok.

Where would you suggest I go? It looks as if Christchurch is centrally located and has easy access to many mountains on South Island and the job market is solid. On the other hand, Queenstown has a decent job market and is located VERY close to the slopes AKA making it easier to get a few hours in every day.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 2 Oct 2011
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Hi Hillbilly WV,

At first read, I thought you were heading down there now just as ski season is ending. But on further reading I see you are heading down next year. Ski season is mid June to early October in the New Zealand winter months.

I have only traveled in NZ as a tourist in the summer so others may have better info. The south island is sparsely populated outside of the main towns of Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown. There is decent skiing 60 minutes from Christchurch at Methven. And I should think after a major earthquake they would be in need of industrial engineers.

However Queenstown gets my vote. Beautiful city on the lake with great skiing close at hand. More of a tourist oriented destination, so hospitality jobs or bartending would be more likely than industrial engineer jobs.

I really like New Zealand. Beautiful country. Nice people. Natural beauty. Great heli-skiing in the winter. Bungee jumping in the summer. Whats not to like?

Cheers,
John Downs
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Old 2 Oct 2011
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Sorry if I didn't specify - but I wouldn't head down that way until next May, just as NZ is heading into Winter.

Queenstown seems to be the place to go, but job availability is a big concern. I definitely have to work, even if only part time, to afford to live there and ski.

Some have suggested Wanaka as an alternative to Queenstown. Should North Island be on my radar, or should I only consider South Island? Skiing is the primary reason for flying down.
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Old 3 Oct 2011
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Queenstown is the place to be if skiing is your priority. Second choice would be Wanaka.

Who knows, it may even be possible to work as an engineer for one of the ski operators.

Queenstown's main industry is tourism so there's no shortage of hospitality jobs, but you probably won't get rich doing that sort of work.

Christchurch may have better employment opportunities but that would be its only advantage. Forget the North Island.

Quite a few friendly bikers in Queenstown but we don't usually ride in winter because of the seasonal hazards.
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Old 3 Oct 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flying biker View Post
Queenstown is the place to be if skiing is your priority. Second choice would be Wanaka.

Who knows, it may even be possible to work as an engineer for one of the ski operators.

Queenstown's main industry is tourism so there's no shortage of hospitality jobs, but you probably won't get rich doing that sort of work.

Christchurch may have better employment opportunities but that would be its only advantage. Forget the North Island.

Quite a few friendly bikers in Queenstown but we don't usually ride in winter because of the seasonal hazards.
As long as I can pay rent and get a little money, I'll be happy.

Do you know the level of development of the slopes? I was told that the groomed slopes are kind of lackluster - icy, windy, subject to closers, and that back country/heli-skiing is the way to go.
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Old 3 Oct 2011
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I'm not really qualified to comment on the skiing conditions. I guess your assessment depends on what you're used to.

There's no accommodation on the mountains so you have to drive up and down each day, and occasionally the roads are closed because of fresh snow or blizzards.

Heli-skiing is definitely an option but I imagine it's rather expensive.

Maybe you should consider arriving a month or so before the season opens in order to secure a job. There are lots of itinerant workers in these parts.
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Old 9 Oct 2011
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We live in Wanaka, my wife goes up Treble Cone which is an advanced field, we also have Cardrona and Snowpark / Snowfarm only 20 minutes away depending if you are a hooligan or a poof.

Anywhere in Queeny of Wonka will see you right for skiing, what is your specific line in Engineering?, I am a Quantity Surveyor in Construction so can possibly point you in the right direction.
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Old 10 Oct 2011
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Thanks Two Moto Kiwis. My engineering discipline is Industrial Engineering.
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Old 10 Oct 2011
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Originally Posted by HillbillyWV View Post
Thanks Two Moto Kiwis. My engineering discipline is Industrial Engineering.
Ok, that can take you all sorts of ways here in NZ, no huge engineering companies in Wonka or Queeny but plenty of smaller shops doing house beams, commercial construction steelwork and general engineering etc.

Let me know if you want some places to follow through on and I will ping you a list of people to try.

Forgot to ask if you are on the floor or management end of things?
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